I love sugar. Or rather I should say, my brain loves sugar and tells me I can't live without it - my body, on the other hand, not so hot on the idea but my brain's overwhelmingly strong response tends to override the truth of the situation. Battling my sugar cravings seems to be a livelong journey of mine which started with an eating disorder in my teens. I find that in the best of times with regard to this challenge, that learning the truth about sugar and how it effects my body helps me rise out of the difficult craving moments and stay strong.
So here today are some facts about the "not so sweet" side of sugar to help those of you that might suffer from my predilection. Other things that I find help? Acupuncture! Of course. Also meal planning - having a plan and having healthy snacks all queued up and ready to go can make or break me on a busy or stressful day. Therefore read on, enjoy, think about how sugar effects you and what presence it has in your life and if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask!
THE FACTS, MA'AM, JUST THE FACTS
A study published by the JAMA Internal Medicine found that more than 70 percent of Americans consume more than the recommended daily amount of sugar. Sadly, most of us are addicted to sugar, which happens to be hidden in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Added sugar can cause a whole array of problems that can be short term as well as long term. If you are experiencing health problems, lowering your sugar intake may be one of your best options. Below are 10 truths about the ugly side of sweets.
Refined sugar has no nutritional value and it is recommended to consume as little as possible. The first step in eliminating sugar is from drinks such as soda, juice and mixed alcoholic drinks. Because of the large amounts of sweetener in these drinks, it can make them very addictive and hard to quit drinking.
Harms your liver
Sugar can be just as damaging on your liver as alcohol and lead to fatty liver disease. When you consume too much fructose, your body becomes insulin resistant resulting in various problems that can cause disease.
One study done in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that participants who ate the highest levels of added sugars showed the biggest increase in bad cholesterol levels and triglyceride blood fats and the lowest levels in the good cholesterol levels.
Leading cause of obesity
In America, sugar is one of the leading culprits of obesity. It is estimated that 80 percent of food products in the U.S. contain added sugar. The best way to lose weight and lower your risk of obesity is to eliminate all processed foods and drinks.
Bad for your teeth
It should be a no-brainer that sugar is bad for your teeth. You may remember growing up having the dentist tell you as a kid to eat less candy to prevent cavities. As an adult, we know it’s not only candy that will cause cavities, but sugar that is found in your favorite drinks and everyday foods as well. Best way to sustain healthy teeth and gums? Cut the processed and refined sugar.
Can lead to type 2 diabetes
When your body is consuming too much sugar, your glucose levels become too high, which can be toxic to the body. When this happens, your body has a harder time producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. This can then lead to type 2 diabetes.
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.